Change in Visitor Policy and some new Covid data
I'm sure everyone is sick of the yo-yo visitor policy but they have relaxed the requirements back to pre-Omicron days on L&D and Postpartum. Patients are allowed two visitors, one can stay with you the entire time and one can stay until 2 hours after the delivery. On postpartum, the visitor hour rules will apply to the second visitor. All visitors must show proof of vaccination again Covid 19 or a negative Covid test within 72 hours. Hooray.
Some good news and then some bad news in the world of studies about Covid and pregnancy. First, the good news, the CDC reported data from 20 pediatric hospitals in 17 states from July 2021 to January 2022 that showed infants whose mothers were vaccinated with 2 doses of mRNA between 21 weeks of pregnancy - 38 weeks of pregnancy had a 80% effective at preventing hospitalization of the infant in the first 6 months of life! This is quite amazing, getting the vaccine earlier in the pregnancy was still protective just not to the same extent 32%. This is consistent with other vaccines in pregnancy that we have been giving for a long time, including the flu vaccine and whooping cough (TDAP).
And then there is the bad news. Women who are infected with coronavirus are reported to have a 40 % higher risk of serious complications or die during pregnancy than those who are not infected, however this doesn't separate between Delta and Omicron variants. Another study in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory suggests that coronavirus can invade and destroy the placenta. This study was retrospective which doesn't necessarily translate to real life, but it is concerning. It shows that in 68 cases of stillbirth or neonatal death in mothers who had COVID, there was extensive damage to the placenta which makes sense because we are only looking at placentas in the worst possible cases and not every case.
I think our recommendations remain the same, get vaccinated, boosted and be safe and vigilant while pregnant! We aren't done with the pandemic but it is looking promising that we might not have another crazy variant!
Congrats to the Rams player Van Jefferson who learned a lesson all good obstetricians know, you can't trust those 2nd babies!